The Season 2 cast of "Love Is Blind" gathered for the "After the Altar" special, out Sept. 16. Or rather, everyone but one gathered.
Abhishek "Shake" Chatterjee was notably absent from the three-episode follow up, which tracks the contestants' lives after emerging from the pod and blinking, stepped into the daylight of everyday life.
Speaking to TODAY, cast member Kyle Abrams said he and fellow cast members made it clear that Chatterjee wasn't welcome.
"A few of us said we wouldn't do the show if he was there. We left them with no choice," he said. "He was probably going to dig his hole deeper if he'd done the show. It's better that he didn't do it."
Abrams said he wasn't invited to the "guy's night" or the Michigan excursion. Producers asked Abrams, who is involved with Chatterjee's ex-fiancé, Deepti Vempti, whether he wanted to get dinner with Chatterjee. "I said no," he said.
TODAY has reached out to Netflix for comment.
Chatterjee, speaking to TODAY, said that he was approached for the show but declined to come. "After seeing 'After the Altar,' I was so happy I didn't do it. So happy," he said. "Me being gone allowed them to focus on some of the negatives of the other people. Whereas with me there, they would have just piled into me as like the scapegoat."
To recap, Chatterjee got engaged to Vempati during the show. He faced backlash for his comments about Vempati from fans and Vempati's family members, especially his remarks about her physical appearance.
“Shake and I had conversations about how physical intimacy and that chemistry was lacking between us,” Vempati said during an interview with Buzzfeed. “But to watch it back and see how he did it — it was kind of like, ‘Oh, look at me, I’m this cool dude that’s just gonna talk s--t about you to my friends.’ You don’t talk about somebody who is your fiancé, let alone a best friend — or even just a real friend — that way.”
In an Instagram video on March 1, Chatterjee said he felt he had nothing to apologize for.
“I’ve mentioned earlier that there’s certainly things I wanna work on for myself and get better at,” he said. “But one thing I don’t feel inclined to do is to pretend I’m sad or sorry about certain things — certain things that were out of my control, certain things that I can’t necessarily even speak about.”
On March 9, Chatterjee's tone changed when he posted another apology video, addressing Vempati directly.
"I’m ready to take accountability for my actions and be better,” he said. “Deepti, I am truly sorry for some of the things that I said. Things that honestly just could have been left unsaid or could have been said differently. Things that never should have been on national television."
After the reunion ended, Chatterjee has also created ruffles on social media, taunting host Nick Lachey with clips from his old reality show.
As for where Chatterjee is now? He debuted his new relationship in March. According to Us Weekly, he has paused his work as a veterinarian and is now living in Miami.
Shaina Hurley, who was briefly engaged to Abrams, said she was surprised by Chatterjee’s absence. “I was definitely shocked that he wasn’t there,” Hurley said.
Hurley’s husband, Christos Lardakis, whom she married after the show, said he was disappointed Chatterjee didn't appear: "I just wanted to see the live drama."